Junior high ELP students meet with local representatives

By Kate Mauss

Rep. Bob Kressig (D)

As a part of the community unit in ELP, students from both Peet and Holmes gathered together at Peet to listen and talk with Iowa House Representatives Walt Rogers (Republican) and Bob Kressig (Democrat) on Friday, Feb. 3. The idea was to hear how each representative got involved in the community as well as how they help their communities while serving in Des Moines.

Each representative had a full class period to talk to the students about themselves, their job and their answers to questions students had.

Both Rogers and Kressig explained what boards/committees they are on, and students had the chance to learn about various parts of government these men work with that most government classes briefly skim over.

Once they went over the general information about themselves, Rogers and Kressig were allowed to speak on anything that they considered important for the students to hear. This included topics such as campaigning, working with other politics and students’ roles in serving the government.

A common theme throughout the speakers was that no matter how different the opinions between two people are, it is still important to work amicably with each other to ensure the best outcome for those that they are representing.

“I try to represent you and your parents in the only way that I know how,” Rogers said.

Rep. Walt Rogers (R)

During each of their allotted speaking times, there was lots of talk about collaboration. When asked what they agreed upon, Kressig said, “We agree on an end goal. We just can’t agree on how to get there.”

Another topic brought up frequently was the budget cuts among Iowa public schools for the upcoming fiscal year and beyond. Both representatives agreed that they, “just don’t have enough for everything we want,” and that education is a priority for both parties. Rogers addressed students, saying, “You all are our future.” Kressig addressed the issue similarly. “We need to put schools at the top of the list,” said Kressig.

Students felt that the speakers were very interesting to listen to.

“I really enjoyed hearing them as people and not just politicians,” freshman Carter Schofield said.

Like Schofield, many others thought that it was meaningful to hear from them, not just as people on the television, but as an actual human.

Freshman Dalton Blackford said, “I thought they were both great guys and had great ideas.”

Students also appreciated how they spoke about the topics they covered. “I liked how they both expressed their opinions in a polite manner, even though they have many differences,” freshman Aleena Ghumman said.

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